A 25.75 million dollar luxury hotel built by Israel on 640 metres (700 yards) of disputed coastline near Eilat on the Sinai peninsula has become the focal point of a bitter row between Israel and Egypt.
SCU Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak speaking to newspeople (SOT)
GV Taba Hotel
GV Israeli patrol boats PULL BACK TO Taba Hotel
TRACKING SHOT Egyptian checkpoint on border
CU & GV Border guards at checkpoint (4 shots)
GV Israeli checkpoint near hotel (3 shots)
GV PAN Arab on camel passes checkpoint at border
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Background: A 25.75 million dollar luxury hotel built by Israel on 640 metres (700 yards) of disputed coastline near Eilat on the Sinai peninsula has become the focal point of a bitter row between Israel and Egypt. Egypt believes the land, together with the rest of Sinai, should have been handed over by the Israelis in April 1982. Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak said on December 29 his government will have to consider the issue, but added that no conditions could be made over the hotel. The Egyptian consul in Eilat Mr. Hassan Issa offered to buy the 340-bedroom Avive Sonesta hotel in Taba. Israel refused the offer and now tourists are guarded by an Israeli gunboat as they enjoy the sun. The row threatens the discussions between the two countries over autonomy for Sinai, which were suspended by Egypt when Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982. However, Israeli tourist officials believe that Egypt wants the hotel to help boost its flagging tourist trace, which is suffering badly from the world recession.